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Chance to Play, A

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Chance to Play, A

Published 1950

Promotes recreation (especially under nighttime lighting) as the answer to boredom, juvenile delinquency and social pathologies.

Run time 18:05
Producer March of Time
Sponsor General Electric Company in cooperation with the National Recreation Association
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Film about the need for Americans to have more places to participate in sports, recreation, and other leisure activities. Considers the special needs of young people, the elderly and workers for recreation. Also shows the evil things that happen when young people have too much time on their hands (crime, juvenile delinquency). Builds the case for the importance of nighttime recreation (and the necessity for the use of floodlights).

"In most cities throughout America today, playgrounds are woefully lacking and youngsters are forced to seek amusements in the city streets."
"the problem of recreation in America must be solved, not by any single group alone, but by the active participation of every citizen in the land."
"Today public-spirited groups of every kind are zealously working to make up for the omissions of the past promoting and even helping to finance more and better playgrounds;
Throughout the country, progressive municipalities are coming to realize that recreation is an essential part of community life ranking in importance with public health and education."
kids playing in the streets;
kids playing baseball; hopscotch; jump rope; accident; many people looking down at a traffic accident victim; kids playing paddleball
young men playing cards together "bad boys"
children smoking; juvenile delinquents;
sourfaced youth in the company of a police officer;
sanitarium sign; signs: "Selectees" (draftees); "Council Chamber";
teaching swimming; lifeguards; handball; archery; elderly on park benches; shuffleboard; lawn bowling; checkers;
factory and secretarial pool scenes; tennis;
boys enter bars; men drinking in bars; bar games ; men flirting with women;
Ebbets Field, exterior and sign, people milling around outside stadium;
floodlights (outdoors, nighttime) major league baseball game (night)
propaganda for nightime recreation; nightime tennis; much shuffleboard;
pools; basketball; football; skiing all ages; sledding; ice skating; family; ice skating rink; putting on skates.

The first three-quarters of this film has a variety of good public recreation shots including outdoor paddle ball, swimming, tennis, basketball, baseball, bocci (for old people), and four square, but the shots are very short.

¥ 12:27:51- 12:28:05
Nice sledding sequence. Starts with three boys taking running starts with their sleds. Cuts to various shots of children (and a few adults) sledding in a crowded area of a city park (Central Park-?). The last image is of a toboggan with about ten people on it.

¥ 12:28:39- 12:28:47
Great image of nighttime ice skating at a busy rink. Flood lights illuminate the rink. Two teenage girls stop looping around the rink and seem to look at the camera.

¥ 12:24:14- 12:29:27
Longer nighttime ice skating shot. An older couple (with arms looped together) seems to lead the skaters. The ice looks thick and worn out.

Juvenile delinquency


Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavorite - January 7, 2006
Subject: Exaggerated
Obviously GE is loooking to have the public favor night lights on courts. The film exaggerates a great deal & drags in length.
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 7, 2004
Subject: Not enough night time recreation
Argues that playgrounds and recreation facilities are woefully lacking and the result is that children are exposed to the dangers of the streets: accidents, juvenile delinquency, and crime. Adults are prone to ill health and mental illness. Old people wither away. Property values decline. Employees lack team spirit. Families lack togetherness. So "progressive munincipalities" are realize that recreation needs are as important as public health and education.

Lots of shots of kids and adults having fun in healthy, profitable ways, especially after dark.

Brought to you by the public spirited folks at General Electric, which helps explain why floodlighting is recommended over and over and over.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 8, 2003
In this bombastically-narrated film, public recreational facilities are touted as the solution to practically all the world's problems. Juvenile delinquency, neglect of senior citizens, poor work productivity, kids getting hit by cars, dads going out to bars instead of doing things with their familiesÂÂall would be solved if only we had more public playgrounds, sports facilities, and swimming pools, especially ones with floodlights so people can play at night (can you tell General Electric sponsored this film?). Even the high number of 4-Fs during World War II is blamed on lack of recreational facilitiesÂÂI guess starvation, malnutrition, and lack of medical care brought about by the Depression and the Dust Bowl had nothing to do with it. So come on, cities! Build more recreational facilities now!! I mean it!!! Are things better yet?
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 6, 2003
Subject: Who knew?
The need for recreation is VITAL, so this film from 1950 suggests. Because the kids who don't, will inevitably turn to crime, and other no good things. The (very stern) narrator hammers down the point, that play is IMPORTANT. By god, all work areas, townships and every single Tom, Dick and Harry needs a play area. Somewhat overdone, and somewhat poorly acted, this film still is interesting to sit through, as you wonder, judging by the narration whether the fate of the nation rested on recreational plans of local governments.
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